The Minority Health Grant Program is targeted to racial/ethnic minority community-based organizations and tribes in Wisconsin. The mini-grants are intended to build the capacity of local communities to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health resources and services for African Americans, American Indians, Southeast Asians, and/or Hispanics/Latinos and to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care.
Projects for the 2008 grant program addressed one of the following two priority areas in support of the State Health Plan:
- Priority Area 1: Access to primary and preventive health services
- Priority Area 2: Overweight, obesity, and lack of physical activity
2008 Minority Health Grantees
Traditionally Healthy Project (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)
The Traditionally Healthy Project was a weekly health program designed to enhance the physical well-being of Native American youth, ages 13-19, who were overweight or at risk for obesity. The project worked in cooperation with the Healthy Lifestyles Project (a community health education program) to provide weekly, seasonally appropriate, physical fitness activities including traditional dance instruction, snow shoeing, skiing, skating and swimming. Additionally, weekly talking circles provided youth with a supportive environment in which to discuss obesity-related issues and learn healthy living habits. Community members with expertise in nutrition and life skills guided these meetings.
Girls Get Fit (YWCA of Madison/Girl Neighborhood Power)
Girl Neighborhood Power was an after-school and evening enrichment program serving African American, Latina and Asian girls, ages 9-18, who lived in five low-income communities. The Girls Get Fit campaign included exercise, nutritious cooking classes and meetings with community-based public health nurses. The focus of the campaign was creative, fun ways to increase healthy eating and maintain a moderate to vigorous exercise routine weekly.
Fitness Fun (Agape Community Center)
Fitness Fun was a community health program designed to address the nutritional and physical fitness needs of African Americans in the Milwaukee area. The program encouraged nutritious eating habits and a regular exercise routine through menu planning and cooking classes, weekly exercise and "Dancercise" classes, and organized recreational/sports activities. Additionally, wellness activities such as weekly blood pressure checks were provided in consultation with local nursing students.
Latinas Saludables/Latina Healthy Lifestyles Project (CORE/El Centro)
Latinas Saludables was a program designed to address overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity issues in Milwaukee's Latina population. Special focus was directed toward two ZIP codes with the highest Latina population in the city. Using a Community Health Promoter (CHP) model, the project involved a personalized program of health education and exercise in which participants engaged in one-on-one work with a CHP, nutritionist and project coordinator. CHP coaching and weekly support group sessions were also utilized to identify and address individual and community barriers to success.
Using Health Promoters to Improve Health in the LGBT Communities of Color (Diverse and Resilient, Inc.)
The project engaged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color who trained as Community Health Promoters (CHPs) in order to increase culturally competent health promotion activities through outreach and education to social networks. CHPs were recruited and trained through a structured curriculum of outreach strategies supported by academic and health care partners. The focus of this project was to increase understanding of the health disparities peculiar to LGBT people of color, and of the connection between minority stress and risk behaviors. A primary goal was to increase adaptive behaviors to stress through increased community outreach.
Our Space, Our Place (Freedom, Inc.)
Our Space, Our Place was a project designed to give Hmong female teens a safe and culturally competent place in which to become more educated and knowledgeable about health issues of concern to them. The project identified 60 Hmong American and Hmong refugee teen girls ages 13-19, from no-income, low-income and working class families, most of whom possessed Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and who had, or had recently experienced, a medical condition of concern. This unique program integrated both western and traditional Hmong approaches to health care, and "brought the clinic" to the community in order to increase access to health care services.
Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) (Marathon County Health Department)
The purpose of the HEAL project was to address the issue of obesity and lack of physical activity in the adult Hmong population in the greater Wausau area. Representatives of the Hmong community were asked to participate in a planning process to identify the perception of the problem and to strategize potential solutions. One promising practice that was identified utilized a Hmong Community Health Worker (CHW) to build upon a successful Hmong Walking Group by linking it with the Healthy Eating, Active Living Coalition of Marathon County and its existing programs and services.
Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (Professional Women's Network of Service)
The Racine-Kenosha Birthing Project (RKBP) was an emergent support and advocacy program based on The Birthing Project USA model. This model is designed to improve birth outcomes for women of color, using the theory of "Sister Friends." This approach pairs older, mature women of the community with at-risk African American women to provide non-medical, practical support during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of the younger woman's children. RKBP addressed lifestyle issues that needed changing, such as smoking cessation, dietary issues, physical activity and keeping prenatal appointments.
Hispanic Outreach (The Neighbor's Place)
Hispanic Outreach was a project designed to enhance the health and well-being of Central Wisconsin's Hispanic infants and families by increasing access to health services through partnership with Latinos Unidos' existing bilingual services. These services were employed to develop and implement an intake procedure to screen all clients for WIC eligibility, and provide referral and follow-up. Additionally, a dance fitness program was implemented based on an informational, behavioral and environmental model, with the aim of changing physical activity behavior in the Hispanic population.
Comenzando Bien (Winnebago County Health Department)
Comenzando Bien, based on a March of Dimes model of the same name, was a Spanish language prenatal class available to pregnant Hispanic women. Winnebago County Health Department administered this program in a three-county region. The class, taught by Spanish language speakers from the community, provided information on prenatal care, pregnancy changes, nutrition during pregnancy, labor/delivery, child care and breastfeeding.